DAVID Cameron has defended his decision to make a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher a lord so he can become a junior minister in the Scotland Office.
It emerged yesterday that Andrew Dunlop has been given a peerage, enabling his appointment as Scotland Office Minister in the new majority Conservative government.
David Mundell has been appointed the Scottish Secretary, but as he was the only Scottish Tory MP to be elected Mr Cameron has been forced to look elsewhere to fill the junior ministerial role.
He said the new Scotland Office Minister is “extremely talented” and has a “great record in public service”.
The Prime Minister spoke out as he visited Edinburgh for talks with Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
The SNP claimed yesterday Mr Dunlop was part of Mrs Thatcher’s policy unit at the time the poll tax was introduced in Scotland in 1989, describing the appointment as a ‘’scandal’’.
If one thing demonstrates how out of touch the Tories are, it’s the appointment as a government minister for Scotland of an unelected lord who played a leading role in the imposition of the hated poll tax on ScotlandAngus Robertson
Angus Robertson, leader of the Westminster group, said: “If one thing demonstrates how out of touch the Tories are, it’s the appointment as a government minister for Scotland of an unelected lord who played a leading role in the imposition of the hated poll tax on Scotland.”
But Mr Cameron said he believed Mr Dunlop had been involved in defence procurement when he worked for Mrs Thatcher.
The Prime Minister said: “What I’ve done is I’ve taken someone who is extremely talented, with a great record in public service, who will make an excellent minister in the Scottish Office.
“I read some of this morning’s press with incredulity because my memory is he was responsible for defence procurement under the Margaret Thatcher government, but why let the facts get in the way of a great story?”